Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Read my User's Guide to Screenwriters

The Lovers of Amherst Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My new novel, The Lovers of Amherst, is now out (published as Amherst in the US). It’s in some ways my love letter to the poet Emily Dickinson, who I first encountered over forty years ago. Her poems shock and thrill me as much today as they did then. She herself is so unfathomable that I’ve been shy of writing about her, though over the years I’ve accumulated a great deal of knowledge about her, as well as a first edition of her poems, published in 1890. Then when Polly Longhurst published her edited edition of the letters and diaries of Read More

Recent Questions

Submitted by visitors to this website

Posted by Amy

January 27th 2015

Hi William, I have been trying to find the quote for the funeral ceremony from the wind on fire series. As a 11 year old I read it for my sisters funeral. The 10 year anniversary is coming up and I no longer have the books but was hoping to once again read the quote and was wondering if you could sent it to me please? It would mean a lot. Kind Regards, Amy

William Nicholson responded:

Believe it or not, it's so long since I wrote the books that I can't remember where the funeral ceremony is. However, I can remember the death of Ira Hath at the end, and I think the words spoken then must be the same as the ones you mean. They are: "We who are left behind watch you on your way. The long prison of the years unlocks its iron door. Go free now, into the beautiful land. Forgive us who suffer in this clouded land. Guide us and wait for us, as we wait for you. We will meet again."

Posted by Sarah Le

January 19th 2015

Would love your advice for aspiring filmmakers who want to write for their own films as well. Do you think film school is the best way to learn filmmaking and screenwriting? Or is it something that can be self-taught? Often times, film schools are unaffordable. In such case, what would you advise? How does one go about learning this craft best? Thanks. PS - Please do not listen to the critics on Firelight. It is one of the my all-time favorite movies. To me, it's romantic and unforgettable and is an inspiration in filmmaking. Thank you for giving us Firelight! I have the DVD (in Chinese since I couldn't find it in English anywhere). Would love it if there's a Director's Commentary also. Maybe one day, when the Criterion Collection is smart enough to add Firelight to their shelves, you will do a Director's Commentary on it. :)

William Nicholson responded:

Film school is undoubtedly a great way to learn (though it wasn't my way), but I do understand the cost is an issue. If you can't go to film school, you can make your own by watching films and learning from them, and by making your own no-budget films using your phone or whatever. I think there's no substitute for doing it, making mistakes, learning from them, and getting better. Great if you can do this in an organised environment, but it's not the only way. Just tell yourself: most films are very poor, and you can do better. Why not? And thank you for the kind words about Firelight.

Read all, or submit your own...


Past and current works



Greetings cards hand-written by me that say the things you can't say, now available here.


  • The Lovers of Amerherst
  • The Society of Others
  • The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life
  • All the Hopeful Lovers
  • The Golden Hour
  • Motherland
  • Reckless


  • The Windsinger
  • Slaves of the Mastery
  • Firesong
  • Seeker
  • Jango
  • Noman
  • Rich and Mad


  • Shadowlands
  • Gladiator
  • Mandela
  • Les Miserables
  • Firelight
  • Nell
  • Sarafina
  • Elizabeth: The Golden Age


  • The Retreat from Moscow
  • Shadowlands
  • Katherine Howard